1962 CORVETTE 327 CI/340 HP NO 35
The 1962 Corvette represents the culmination of Bill Mitchell’s styling and Zora Arkus-Duntov’s engineering, in this the final definitive edition of the C1 Corvette platform. Last of the solid axle Corvettes, 1962 was also the last year of the wrap around windshield and convertible only body style.
This model also represents some industry firsts. The most significant performance upgrade marks the introduction of the legendary 327 cu in (340 HP) engine with the Borg Warner 4 speed transmission. The grille was now painted black and the side cut-outs fitted with fine toothed “grilles” in place of the old triple indentures. Also the elimination of excessive chrome led to a more streamlined appearance that was well accepted by the buying public, resulting in a 40% sales increase.
This example offers the highest horsepower carbureted engine available.
According to Edmonds, there is a subset of Corvette enthusiasts who claim the `62 to be the greatest Corvette ever and so it is one of the most sought after Corvettes by collectors. Treated to full body off restoration, this 1962 Corvette exemplifies the best of the C1 body style.
Zora Arkus Duntov and GM Performance
Zora Arkus-Duntov (1909-1996) can rightly be called the Father of Chevrolet (and Corvette) Performance. Born in Belgium, Arkus-Duntov came to America in the early 1950’s to successfully race cars he had designed and built. He twice won class victories at the 24 hours of LeMans.
But in 1953 his life changed. He was so impressed by the Corvette being displayed at the New York Auto Show that he sent a technical paper to the chief engineer of Chevrolet that got him hired at GM. He loved the design of the Corvette but felt it needed to be a true performance car to be true to his design pedigree. “More Horsepower!” To that end, once inside GM, he wrote a memo entitled “Thoughts Pertaining to Youth, Hot Rodders and Chevrolet” which laid the ground work “to create one of the most successful performance parts programs in the (auto) industry.” After becoming Director of High Performance at Chevrolet, he helped transform the division from a stodgy conservative brand into a youthful, exciting one. He put the new small block Chevy V-8 in the Corvette in 1955 providing much needed power and setting it in the road to challenge the European racing name plates. In 1956 while showcasing the 327 small-block V-8 he set a stock car record in the Pikes Peak Hill Climb and hit a record breaking 150 mph over the flying mile at Daytona Beach. In his spare time he developed the famous Duntov High-Life camshaft and helped bring fuel injection to the Corvette in 1957.
His baby, the original small-block V-8 became and remains in its various creations one of the most popular engines of all time. Aimed at the shade tee and independent mechanics across the country, the small block V-8 became what many call the “Lego Block” of engines. You can take it apart, add to it, and indulge yourself on any addition or change to it that strikes your fancy. Chevrolet Parts Div. continues to support the platform to this day. This is all in accordance with Zora Arkus-Duntov’s memo to aim Chevrolet, in general and Corvette in particular, at performance and America’s hot rodders.
Arkus-Duntov was honored as a member of the Drag Racing Hall of Fame, the Chevrolet Legends of Performance, and the Automotive Hall of Fame. He took part in the rollout of the one millionth Corvette at Bowling Green and drove the bulldozer to break ground for the National Corvette Museum. After his retirement when ever there was a major Corvette function, Zora Arkus-Duntov was an honored attendee.
Arkus-Duntov died in Detroit in 1996 and his ashes were entombed at the National Corvette Museum. Well known columnist George Will wrote in his obituary that “if… you do not mourn his passing, you are not a good American.”
Corvette History by Generation:
1st Gen (C1) 1953-1962 5th Gen (C5) 1984-19
2nd Gen (C2) 1963-1967 6th Gen (C6) 2005-2013
3rd Gen (C3) 1968-1982 7th Gen (C7) 2014-Present
4th Gen (C4) 1984-1996